Why Somali Ogaden People wants Self-Determination from Ethiopia?
(Ogaden Community protesting EU for Self-Determination June 2012) Why Somali Ogaden People wants Self-Determination from Ethiopia?
Aug 18, 2012 (Ogadentoday Press)- The Ogaden region is located in the eastern part of Ethiopia, its shares borders with Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti, the region is populated by ethnic Somali people, Sunni Muslims, Ogaden Region was occupied by Ethiopia in the early 19Th Century after serous accords between, British, Italy and Ethiopian Kingdoms. Ogaden is a like, the Kashmir and Palestine conflict which exists almost a century.
Somali Ogaden people in Ethiopia are fighting for Independence of Ogaden Region. Since the long time ago; the Somali troops invaded Ethiopia backing by Somali Ogaden Western Liberation front in 1977.
International community disagreed with the conflict, the Soviet backed directly to Ethiopia and committed genocide in Ogaden Region, soviet plans were bombing the town, Even though the American Administration has sympathy to Somalia, Mohamed Siyad Barre Government, they did not offer direct military assistances to Somalia.
Both Soviet and Americans were interesting the geopolitics of horn of Africa, the cold war was looming inside horn-of Africa.
Majority of Arab countries where supporting to Ethiopia, ‘many surprises”, but Ethiopian sees Arabs as primary enemy, the idea is from the connection between Israel state and Ethiopia or Egyptian kingdom attacked Ethiopia in 16 century, Egypt and Iraq were only two Arab states offered military and economic assistance to Somalia, under the leadership of Anwar Sadad and Sadam Hussein, Libya and Yemen were providing assistance to Ethiopia. Saudi Arabia tried to mediate the Somalia and US in order the US to control the Berbera Port but failed.
After 1991 the collapse of Mengist Haile Mariam, Ethiopia adopted a new constitution, new system, but little had been done, as promises of the news changes.
“Cohen Conference in London” Ethiopia promised a human right respect, political space open, and the draft constitution which declares self- determination of ethnic based nationalites in Ethiopia.
Cohen was a former US ambassador to Ethiopia; the Idea of conference was to save Ethiopia from destruction and civil war.
Ethiopia is federalism system with a little democratic space, there are political parties but the last 20 years, EPRDF, The Ethiopian primes Minister Melez Zenawi, ruling party leads the with iron-fist. His party controls, the state media, intelligence, and the military.
The president, speaker of parliament and the prime minister belong one party.
The Population of Ogaden region is a about 5 million, according to UN Agencies, its size is about 200,000 sq. km. there are important towns such as, Jigjiga, Qabridahar, Godey, Dhagaxbuur, Fiiq, Afdheer, Shilaabo, Kebribayax.
The Modern Day Struggle.
After the Ogaden National Liberation Front come into birth 1984 inside Somalia, it started under-ground liberation movement, Somalia and Ethiopia signed an agreement in Djibouti, both agreed to shut down all rebels offices, Somalia closed the Liberation front office also the liberation radio in Muqidisho but Ethiopia continue its support to SNM, Somali National Movement against the Siyad Bare rule.
In 1991, the Ethiopian Marxist rule, Mengist Hiale Mariam was ousted by the union of rebels, EPRDF, Ogaden National Liberation Front fought self-determination of Ogaden Region, in a campaign to depose Mengist Rule. The Mengist fled from Ethiopia in May, 1991.
The New chapter was opened in Ethiopia, The new coalition of Ethiopia founded a transitional government in Ethiopia; Zenawi was elected as President, 1995 Ethiopia turn into Federalism system composed of Nine Regions based on ethnic groups, (Somalia Ogaden, Oromia, Tigray Amara , Afar, Harari, Southern Nations, Gurage, Gambella ).
It was history moment, the first time in the human history Somali Ogaden Region people elected their representative in Ethiopian parliaments, 84.6% voted for the ONLF, Ogaden National Liberation Front. The capital of the region was elected in Goday Town, a town that the Shabelle River is located in.
A few months later, Ethiopia ruling party intervened the Administration led by, Abdullahi Mohamed Sacdi, president of Ogaden Administration, and Sheekh Ibraahim Abdalla Maax, the Chairman of ONLF.
What happen next?
The 54 of ONLF central committee announced an extra-ordinary meeting, and then, the regional parliamentary announced an urgent session, the parliament hold first vote of self- determination in Ogaden region 1993.
The ONLF were attacked, prominent leaders were assassinated, hundreds of civilians are killed in Wardher( Doollo) Region, the Kebridahar Administration leaders, Mohamed Omar Tube and his Vice Deq Mohamed Carab were killed in, after the Ethiopian military troops attacked Sheekh Ibrahim Abdalla Maah, ONLF leader in Wardher. The Capital of Ogaden region was moved to Jigjiga by force.
A few, brave about 100 men started the hit and run conflict in Ogaden Region in 1994, after years, Ethiopian Prime Minister Melez Zenawi said ONLF is growing and we cannot capture, if we did not when they were a few members.
First years, Ethiopia denied an existence of ONLF, later, International Media found a news about it, and asked Ethiopia, they replied, “a few gangs are blocking roads” ONLF vowed to continue resistance in Ogade region, and promised Ogaden civilians a long liberation. ONLF is backed by Somali Ogaden nomadic providing, assistances, foods, money, moral and whatever they can, In turn off that Ethiopia troops brutalized Ogaden civilian.
Today, According to wiki leaks report in Ethiopia, ONLF is biggest threat to Ethiopian ruling party EPRDF, even surprising the ONLF) posed a further, political threat to the EPRDF and its core TPLF.
Political Concerns: Not only was the brutal ONLF attack at Abole a brazen act, but it marked a more deadly departure from prior type attacks by the ONLF in the past. Further, the attack was an embarrassment for the ENDF, its failure to protect the oil project site and respond immediately against the attackers.
More important, the ONLF attack came at a time when Somalia operations had the ENDF (Ethiopian National Defense Forces) bogged down and extremists vowed to take the war to Ethiopia to cut off supplies and logistical support. The ONLF’s public statement following the attack insisting that it would play a role in determining the future and economic development of the region was certainly perceived as a direct threat to the GoE’s authority in the region.
An expert says, Ogaden is like the Darfur of Sudan, human right organizations accused Ethiopian Troops a war crime against humanity, Link
Peace and negotiation in the future.
Peace is needed to all human beings; peace is a factor that humans feel respected, Ogaden people are peace-loving people, since the creation of Ethiopia, and they did not see Ethiopian Leader who treats them like Human.
The Ethiopian Kingdom, Menelik, Haile Salasle,Mengist Haile Mariam, and the current Melez Zenawi is brutalizing the civilians in Ogaden, how possible the Ogaden people love then Ethiopia and accepts as Ethiopian.?
This question needs to be asked, those old-fashioned minded, believe in “Ethiopainisim”
International community, African, Arabs, Western, China, and Japan, must reconsider the policy and open a new chapter in Ogaden. Peace and justice must be initiated in Ogaden, if there is any sense of humanity and respect for international law.
International role and complicity of Genocide.
Ethiopia gets a huge International donor by the USA, China, UK, France and Saudi Arabia, all these assistance are used a political and military to silence the minority people in Ethiopia. The helicopters that are bombing Ogaden villages are donors from the International community. By this way Ogaden people cannot except to be forced Ethiopians.
World are ignoring the genocide taking place in Ogaden Region,, civilians needs action not critics to Ethiopian government.
State-Department aware of all these crimes, but because of war on terrorism are denied by the Human right in Ogaden Region.
In addition to that, the State Department granting visa for suspected war crimes individuals, from Somali Ogaden Administrations by ignoring the bleeding women and children in Ogaden region, meanwhile USA was a Championship of Human right.
“The view of Ogaden People”
Naturally Ogaden people believe in that they are not part of Ethiopia and that is why they are killed, raped, looted, and humiliated. The Addis Ababa Regime marginalized the Ogaden region economically, socially, and politically.
Based on t articles 39 of Ethiopian constitution defines the right of self-termination. In addition to that, the self-determination is a matter of International law.
That is why they are fighting for the Independence of Ogaden Region.